Dream word – COVERED
“Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from every tribe; and Joshua said to them: ‘Cross over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, “What do these stones mean to you?” Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.’” NKJV
Remembering the hidden rock piles of redemption
There is little that is more enduring than rock. In my homeland, the famous Stonehenge and many dancing rock circles are even now intriguing testimonies to ancient communities long since wiped from the face of the planet. Yet, still the testimony of speaking rocks remain for there is little that is more enduring than a rock.
My suspicion is, that God delights in rock more than He delights in any other non-sentient part of His creation. The fixed, protective immovability of rock is at the very least, that which He desires most for us. Yet I think there may be also a secret and metaphysical side to rocks yet to be fully comprehended, for what other singing sentinels stand so firm in the bearing of their living water spewing testimonials? There is little more enduring than a rock.
So, God wants us to remember and like so much of the Old Testament, begins to bookend the chapters of His redemptive story with rock altars and rock piles! In our text for tonight, it is from the middle of a presently dried up Jordan river, that twelve burly tribal representatives obey the command of God and remove the smooth stones to dry Canaan land, to stand as a generational testimony to what God has done for the Israelites. Yet tonight, it is not this rock pile which I am focused upon, but rather the Joshua rock pile that is listed in verse nine: “And the children of Israel did so, just as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones from the midst of the Jordan, as the Lord had spoken to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them to the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the ark of the covenant stood; and they are there to this day.” Joshua 4:8-9 NKJV
Maybe Joshua was following some other unrecorded explicit command of God right here in verse nine, or maybe Joshua did this off his own bat? Who knows? Still, tonight underneath the rolling Jordan, lay twelve, now very smooth stones, all huddled together in the wet and fishy darkness! Here is a hidden rock pile, an unseen testimony, yet known by one and all who have been redeemed. Yes, the visible pile, up from the banks of Jordan, speaks of another pile of unseen rocks, brought from the wilderness maybe but now long since hidden, covered, all smoothed out and long, long time gone.
Our present life of victory, should be full of present and permanent testimonies to a salvation once wrought upon us, rock like testimonies to a redemption from a dreadful slavery to sin and lost-ness in a wandering and dried up wilderness, even though our old life, our past life, like Joshua's rock pile is covered and long lost in the way once parted for us.
or everyone of us tonight, for all the true Israel of God, I say that every past life sinful stone is hidden, is covered and is long, long smoothed out beneath the rolling waters of redemption that once piled up high at a city called Adam far, now so very far away. Look to your Salvation’s seen rock piles, and ask yourself tonight, “What do these stones mean to me?” They shall mean something special for you and especially, that everything else, everything my dear friend concerning your life on the other side of Jordan, is gone and lost forever in the middle of God’s redemptive pathway. It is gone, all smooth remembered rock covered in the depths of His love. There is nothing more enduring than a rock.
Listen: “…..and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho. Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.” Josh 3:15-17 NKJV
Pray: Jesus, when Your feet stepped into Jordan’s floods, t’wean heaven’s desire and the Father’s will, the waters rose up O Lord, rose up in a heap so very far away, at the base feet of Adam, hoping still and in the pathway of redemption every testimony to my sin, is now covered by the waters of Your love. Thank you. Amen.
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